Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Two Newspaper Properties Not for Sale: Tribune Real Estate in Chicago, Los Angeles

chicago-tribuneSam Zell’s Tribune Co., last seen entering Chapter 11, is in fire sale mode. But you can only have a fire sale if someone’s buying what you’re selling. Which is why the media company has pulled two of its biggest real estate holdings off the block. Crain’s:

Tribune Co. has scrapped plans to put the Tribune Tower up for sale because of cratering real estate prices and the company’s late-year bankruptcy protection filing.

The media giant hired brokers last summer to sell the landmark tower as well as the Los Angeles Times’ headquarters complex, known as Times Mirror Square, and had hoped to get marketing materials to prospective investors early this year. But the moribund real estate investment sales market prompted the company to shelve those plans, says Stephanie Pater, Tribune’s director of real estate.”

Easy to see why prospective buyers might be wary of taking on close to a million square feet of office space when the primary tenant is a newspaper with uncertain prospects.

So what does that mean for the New York Times Co.’s (NYT) effort to wring much needed cash out of its HQ? The company announced its plans to raise up to $225 million via a sale-leaseback of its Times Square building in early December. But we haven’t heard a peep about it since.

No news to report so far, says spokeswoman Catherine Mathis, via email. “There’s no update. We continue to actively pursue a sale-leaseback on our new headquarters.”

So. Anyone interested? The Times has up to 828,000 square feet to dispose of, according to the company’s latest 10-K.

[Image Credit: sheliaellen]


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus